Today marks one year since my dear friend Ray "Ragu" Ragucci went to the Spirit world. The tears started falling yesterday, everywhere I looked, I saw him. I could do nothing "productive" so I chose to lay down in my bed at 8:00pm and even stayed there most of the day today, as well. The tears flowed, my voice spoke in moans, "Raaaaaay, Raaaaaay, Raaaaaay.". When I went outside finally, to feel the warmth on my skin, a pure white feather fell gently from above and landed at my bare foot. All I could do was smile. For I knew Ray was with me on and off the few days before, gently placing white feathers at my feet, just like today. Some people think that because I am a practicing medium and psychic that I don't grieve like "regular" folk. That somehow how it's "easier" for me because I understand there is life after death and that our Spirit indeed lives on. I mean, I talk to Spirit everyday, so why isn't it easier? Well for now, I am still living in a human body with emotions, and my heart can hurt for a friend. Especially for a friend like Ray.
I met Ray three days after the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11th. He tearfully explained to me that he was grappling with "survivor's guilt". You see, he was "spared" that dreadful day and 343 of his own, were not. Ray was a veteran firefighter with the New York City Fire Department, Engine Company 5. He switched shifts with Manny DelValle so that he could attend his daughter's first communion. Neither Manny, nor Ray, thought anything of it..... for it started out like any other day, just like most of our days do. I clearly remember feeling Ray's angst, the duality he felt of being thankful to be alive, and his grief and his guilt, over losing his brother. In the days, months and year to follow, Ray worked diligently, night and day, in the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero. I walked the grounds with Ray on many occassions, besides "the pile" as we called it, sometimes we would walk in silence, sometimes he would share his brother's stories with me, or what the 24 hour shift had entailed that he had just finished. And I would listen to every excruciating detail he offered.....as well as feel the emotions and details, that weren't said.
In the weeks and years following 9/11, Ray attended dozens, upon dozens, upon dozens of funeral services of his fallen brothers. Every year he drove up to Boston to attend Manny's memorial services, to show his respect for Manny's family and for his fallen brother. Ray always went above and beyond for everyone. He was the first to offer a helping hand, and whenever I was grieving, or exhausted after counseling all day long, he would offer me a vegetarian meal at the firehouse (I'm telling you, those firemen can cook up a storm!). Ray would offer me a ride when I was too broke to take a taxi, or when my feet were hurting, and I couldn't walk the fifty or so blocks to where I was staying. When I drove in from Boston, he let me park my car at the firehouse (what a blessing that was, if you know anything about parking in NYC.....). When I flew in from far away he would pick me up at the airport. Ray always made me feel special. He always told me that the work I was doing to help others was most important of all. I never -- not once -- saw it that way. Ray was the amazing one. Ray was the giving one. Ray was the one who was always laughing, with a positive attitude, and offering his hand to help others.
But even in the midst of the chaos, turmoil and grief, we shared many a good time. (Yes indeed, O' Hanlon's pub across the street from the firehouse was definitely a blessing on many occassions!) Year after year, Ray would be there for me, for everyone, for all of us.....even when he finally retired after twenty years of duty. In 2009, when Ray told me he was having "blood tests", I felt right away that his condition was a result of toxicity from Ground Zero. He was later to have a bone marrow transplant. Night & day, I prayed for Ray. Each time I spoke to him, in or out of the hospital, he was full of positivity, love of life, love for his sweet family who he was so very proud of. Our prayers had been answered, Ray's sister was a match and his transplant was successful.
In June 2011 when I spoke to Ray, I knew he just did not "sound right". He told me his blood counts were off and he was admitted to the hospital again, after previously enduring many months of recovery. On July 4, 2011, exactly one week before the tenth anniversary of September 11th, I got the call from my dear friend Jeff, that Ray had crossed over. Earlier that morning, a huge white feather landed on my doorstep.....and a beautiful cardinal (fire engine red) sang to me, "I'm free, Paigeeeeeeeeey.......". I felt the moment that Ray left his body, and joined his fallen brothers who had gone before him. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of Ray, of his positive Spirit, his commitment, and undying, unconditional love for others. I keep Ray's memory alive in my heart. And today.....well...... I had a damn good cry. I miss you, Ray. My forever friend. You were ~ and always will be ~ a light in my world. You are never forgotten. Until we meet again, here's to you....Ragu.
I don't know about you, but it sure has been a challenging year so far. Don't get me wrong, I fully embrace all that is occurring as we move towards the shift of vibrational pull. Sometimes though, it can be tiring when you feel that your hard work is not rewarded in ways that are noticeable. Many of us work long hours towards our goals and love what we do. Myself included. And some of you have set your intentions to make positive changes in your lives, and when we don't see the fruit on the tree right away, we wonder if it was ever planted. Let me remind you ~ that what you seek isn't "out there". It is within you. Once you are able to love your process with honesty and grace, you will continue to search for recognition and live in your head, or ego. Always searching for approval and recognition, is not fulfilling. It drains you of the very essence of your own love.
All of us on the Lightworker path certainly do deserve credit for our hard work and dedication. But the most important person we can receive validation from, is ourselves. Yes, I am guilty of wanting acknowledgment or praise from my students, clients, teachers, and my husband. I am after all, a spiritual being living in a human body. But I have recently learned some valuable lessons in this life's journey and themes that have been a pattern for so long are coming to a close. I stand firm in my faith and will practice what I preach. So, let's just pat ourselves on the back and whatever you might want to hear from others, say it to yourself! Look in the mirror and tell yourself, "wow, you are making great changes!", or "you're doing a brilliant job!". You might feel its silly at first and you might even get a little emotional. Let us all love ourselves with grace and give ourselves the validation that we seek outside. We all have that inner chatter and we talk to ourselves all the time, but often the words are not too validating or very loving. And yet we are the first to tell someone else they're doing a great job! My Spirit Guides are always affirming that I am doing a wonderful job, and they love me unconditionally. Then, my "other voice" comes in my head and says, "Did you do that well enough? Couldn't you have done that better? What are you forgetting? Did you get everthing done today?" and so on and so forth. Now, that's not very loving.....is it....
All of the time we spend outside of ourself seeking praise, acknowledgement or love, is a big sign that we are feeling empty and we need to praise our own self. Spirit acknowledges our hard work and loves us unconditionally. We should too. In the greater scope of this thing called Life, we are each other looking back at us in the mirror. So, please join me and go ahead and pat yourself on the back. Hug yourself. Beam pink light of pure love and compassion into your heart and soul. Bask in the sunshine of your own grace! You are amazing! Hear the applause from your angels. Then get yourself out in the world and do what you came here to do. <3
“In prayer you communicate with God; in meditation, God communicates with you ...
In silence lies the ability to listen.” - Julia White
Last night on my radio show "Mind Body Spirit Hour", my co-host Shelly Wilson and I, shared the importance of connecting with our higher self through meditation. We realize that meditation is a stumbling block for many people. This is mostly because we traditionally think of meditation as a quieting of the mind, an activity by which we leave all our thoughts behind and become blank canvases. For those who can achieve this, meditation is a wonderful component of their spiritual lives. But for the rest of us, meditation looks like something reserved for monks. In fact, one of the most common statements I hear over and over again from my clients is that they "just can't meditate".
What if I gave you some simple steps to get started, and told you that meditation does not require hours of practice per day? As we mentioned last night on the radio, I promise that once you make the decision to awaken your spirituality and connect with your soul -- you will find that changes start happening. Once you make the decision to connect to your higher self and ALL that is, we are awakened to our true calling. Just being willing to release all pain on the cellular level, we begin a metamorphasis almost instantaneously.
Okay, so you have set the intention to open yourself up to the wonders of a spiritual life -- now what? At least once a day, all you need to do is sit in quiet and stillness. Then simply watch as your deep desires slowly open before you, revealing the honesty and joy of your higher self.
Meditation doesn't have to be difficult. Meditation is simply focused awareness on ALL that is within you, waiting to be valued. Instead of trying to suspend all thoughts during meditation, decide to pay attention only to certain thoughts. For instance, listen to your breathing, or gentle classical music, orfocus on the sounds of your heart beating. You can also focus on a single image such as a candle, budding rose, or an angel figure. Try not to get frustrated with any thoughts that want to intrude. Instead, simply greet those thoughts and ask them to please step aside for now. Then, go back to the image or the focus you had before.
Here are some basic pointers on how to meditate:
1) Sit comfortably. I prefer to sit in a chair where my feet can rest comfortably on the ground. There's no need to sit in a cross legged position on the floor, unless you are perfectly comfortable that way. You may also lie down, but if you do, you might fall asleep.
2) Dress in comfortable clothes. You really don't need to go out and buy special yoga pants, etc! Casual sweat pants, or even pajamas, will do.
3) Eating right before you meditate isn’t recommended. If you eat and then want to meditate, plan to take an hour to let your meal digest. Avoid eating heavy or processed foods prior, so that energy flows easier and your focus remains unclogged.
4) You can light candles, burn incense, use crystals, etc. Whatever puts you in the mood. Try to do this each time you meditate, so that it becomes a ritual for you. Meditating at a certain time everyday, is also helpful.
5) Start with 5-10 minutes a day, with the intention of working your way toward longer meditation. It's a lot easier than you think, once you get used to it. Some people spend an hour a day, or 30 minutes in the morning and at night, meditating. The more you meditate, the stronger your connection to your higher self will be. I personally meditate for at least 15 minutes every morning. When I do not take that time for myself, I notice a big difference -- I might feel rushed, or more easily frustrated with others, or the task before me.
Most people don’t believe they have the time to set aside an hour a day to meditating. And that’s fine. You don’t need to start with an hour, or even plan to work up to that. You can start with five minutes. Even two minutes will do! For example, if you take two more minutes each morning when you shower, and you allow yourself to stand under the water and meditate - you’ve practiced! Or, before you leave the house for the day, set down all your stuff by the front door, go sit on the couch, and focus on your breath. Two minutes, five minutes, and what do you know - you’ve practiced! The key is to be consistent and patient.
5) When you first begin meditating, where you do so is as important as how often and how long. In time, you’ll be able to meditate during a traffic jam, or while waiting in line at the grocery store. Pick some place at home or at the office where you can reliably go for a few minutes to get some peace and time to yourself. Maybe this is at the foot of your bed, or an unfrequented stairwell in the building where you work. Wherever it may be, make that your meditation space. You can choose to decorate it with candles, a soothing water fountain, tapestries, or crystals. Decorate with whatever will help make the location sacred to you.
6) Next decide how you would like to meditate. Do you want to sit in silence and clear your mind? Do you want to chant with a mantra? Do you want to play soft music? Do you want to focus on a candle? Do you want to send your intentions out into the Universe? Do you want to make contact with your higher self? You can simply say on the in breath, "I am light" and on the out breath, "I am love". Start with breathing naturally and purposely until you have created a comfortable rhythm.
As you commit to your practice, you’ll find that over time, how you meditate will change. There is no need after awhile to become too attached to one way of meditating. As your spiritual self becomes a stronger presence in your life, you will know what feels best for your purpose.
So what are you waiting for? Lets give it a try right now.
Two weeks ago, a bunch of us gathered in my living room to watch the DVD, "You Can Heal Your Life". It is an inspiring true story of a woman and reknowned author, Louise L. Hay, and how she changed her entire life by the power of positive affirmations & self healing.
If you have begun the wonderful journey of healing your own life, perhaps you are using affirmations to assist you daily? Perhaps you have become frustrated that you feel in a cycle of "nothing is happening" yet? And maybe you want to give up and return to the old negative self talk?
Well, please let me remind you that you are not alone. In fact, once you've begun saying and thinking your affirmations, it's important to practice patience. One of the biggest mistakes people make when using affirmations is giving up too soon! But would you not water your garden because the seeds didn't become grown plants overnight? No, of course not! Try and think of yourself as a gardener of your own life! You must cultivate the soil, water, weed, and fertilize to grow a beautiful life. To grow a wonderful life takes releasing the past, learning to think more effectively with affirmations, and trusting that your beautiful garden will blossom fully in time.
Using meditation and visualization can actually speed up the body's receptivity to positive changes, because these practices take you to a more powerful connection with your subconscious mind and Universal Energy. Meditation is simply a process of focusing your attention on your breath or on a short phrase. This will help you to balance emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. When you're in that quiet place, your heart and mind are connected, so doing your affirmations at this level is even more powerful than simply repeating them when you are in your usual busy, conscious state.
Many of my new clients, my friends and listeners on my radio show, tell me that they just can't stay focused enough to meditate! What if I told you that many years ago, I also struggled with "sitting still & quieting my busy mind"?! I want to offer a simple exercise to get you started.
Sit comfortably and relax. You don't need to sit cross-legged on the floor, if that isn't comfortable for you. Simply sit in your favorite chair, with your head rested & your feet firmly on the ground. Focus your attention on your breathing. As you breathe in, think to yourself, "I AM", and as you breath out, think to yourself, "relaxed." Count your breaths from one to four. Simply count mentally each time you exhale, starting with one and going to four. Repeat the counting over and over. Think to yourself, "calm and at peace" with each breath, or any other phrase that is relaxing for you. Imagine yourself in a beautiful, peaceful setting.
I also recommend Creative Visualization. This is something we all do every single day, yet we do not always visualize positive scenarios. Instead, we focus on that person who cut us off on the way to work, or how much we have on our to-do list, or all of the bills we have to pay, etc.
Creative Visualization is imagining, seeing, feeling, or describing something you would like to create. They bring in all of the senses along with affirmations to give your subconscious mind the EXPERIENCE of the reality you are creating. Your subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between the reality "out there" and the one you create inside, so visualizations create a new "inner landscape" that in turn produces results on the outside. Many people say they cannot visualize, yet they can always describe their backyard, vehicle, or kitchen!
When we can somehow picture or feel what it is we want, then we're visualizing. It's really that simple. The feeling part is actually more important than really "seeing" the new reality, as the Universe responds most quickly to the feelings you send out (this is called your vibration). So, go ahead and give it a try! Once you are in a relaxed place, think or quietly repeat your affirmations, and visualize what your life would be like when they have already happened! Visualize as many details as you can! Is your desire to live on the ocean, start your own business, be happily married, or in a better state of health? Whatever it is that you want to create in your life, YOU have the power within you to do so. All you need is to be in alignment with what you say you want in your life. Take time everyday to meditate, affirm that you are achieving your desires easily, and visualize it as so -- really FEEL what it would be like, to BE living the life you desire!
Last night, I held a gathering at my home for the sheer purpose of bringing people together who are on the path of healing their mind/body/spirit. I want to reach out to as many as possible about the positive message of creating the changes we desire. The theme of the evening was for us to view the film based on Louise L. Hay's teachings, "You Can Heal Your Life". The film was so very poignant about the power of our thoughts and how they create our reality. What stood out for me the most during this film was the many testimonials from others, of various backgrounds and professions, and how they discovered this for themselves when faced with a challenge to make a big change. Our conversation after the film ended, made it very clear to me that so many of us are on this journey of making change. This film was inspirational, motivational, and emotionally profound.
You all know people who are stuck in a mind set that they’ll never meet their soulmate, have a career that they really want, or leave an abusive relationship, and so on and so forth. The way they speak to themselves and rationalize why they cant do this, or that, just keeps them held in ransom within fear. But guess what? What if its never too late to make a change? What if you just stopped what you were doing right now and said to yourself, "I am willing to change"?
I have been sharing the power of our thoughts, emotions, and affirmations with hundreds of people, for many years. And as a life coach, medium and healer, I have seen a multitude of people make positive changes in their lives. One day very soon, I will write my own story for all to read but one person stands out to me in this moment. My husband's grandmother began vaudeville dancing in her early 20's, when it was unusual for young women not to be married, let alone have a career. She met her soulmate during her stage career, and later took care of him for seven years after he had a massive stroke. She did so never complaining about it, as she would not place him in a nursing care facility. After he passed on, she kept on working until she was in her 80's! When she retired, she turned to her passion of oil painting and was quite good at it! She woke up everyday, put on a stylish outfit, took great care of herslef, played cards with friends and enjoyed the presence of others. At age 92, she was learning Spanish. Was it ever too late for her to pursue what she desired? She clearly didn’t think so. She felt that everything was possible if you believed in yourself, and she lived by that example.
When we make excuses not to change, we block positive people and situations from manifesting in our lives. Why do we hold ourselves back? Because our self talk tells us that we don't think we are worthy, or we are too afraid, or we are too fat, not pretty enough, we are too broke, or we do not love ourselves enough to trust our own heart. I have news for you though......we are never too old to make a positive change. Our physical body ages but not our spirit. If you listen to your heart and the energy that flows from it, you can feel the vitality in your physical body when you think of a thought that feels good. It all comes down to how you approach your life -- as positive, or negative. If you take care of yourself by allowing healthy relationships and situations into your life, if you are eating well, exercising and getting enough rest -- you will find that your life will begin to change in the positive direction you intend.
It is our Divine purpose to live with JOY. You CAN change. You ARE worthy.
Our time on earth now is quite unique and we have the ability to create positive change -- right NOW. So, go ahead and rent the dvd "You Can Heal Your Life". It may just be the message you have been looking for.
I will be writing more about my brave friend Ray in the days to come. My dear friend, Ray Ragucci, passed away this morning after a long battle with leukemia. My heart is grieving & I miss my friend. As much as lightworkers can communicate with the spirit realms, does not make losing someone you love any easier. Not for me anyway. I love you Ray. Your strength, unconditional love, and laughter will be forever in my heart. Your spirit lives on forever.....please rest now. Be free.
The Paige Turner
Do what you say, and say what you mean. Those that mind, dont matter & those that matter, dont mind!
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